As the second round at Wimbledon was in high gear, a lot of eyes were on defending champ Andy Murray and his match against Blaz Rola. While a thrilling match, it was not where the focus should have stayed.
Murray’s blowout win was definitely entertaining, but was entertaining in the way a lion fighting a kitten would be entertaining. Rola had no business on a court with Murray and everyone at the All England Club knew it. Murray took the match in a landslide and Rola was lucky to make it back to the locker room with his legs still attached to his body.
That said, the bar of achievement was set by Venus Williams and Novak Djokovic in their singles matches. This is the gold standard by which winning performances will be judged moving forward.
Both Williams and Djokovic had a little bit of trouble closing their opponents out. Williams struggled late in her match against Kurumi Nara as Nara truly made her work for those last few points. Despite the late struggle, Williams was composed and read her opponent perfectly.
Djokovic on the other hand, defeated Radek Stepanek in four sets. This is crucial because, in contrast to Murray putting on a clinic in his match, Djokovic truly put the work into this one. Stepanek was able to sustain five aces from Djokovic in a set he won; then going on to take 75 percent of first serve points in the next set that he went on to lose.
Both Stepanek and Nara put up serious fights against their hyped up opponents. As Williams and Djokovic dispatched them, they set a standard that Murray and other favorites would be wise to remember as the tournament rolls on.